Former Head Of Algeria's Military Dies

Published February 13, 2012 3:45PM (EST)

ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) — Gen. Mohammed Lamari, who led Algeria's military during the 1991-2002 civil war that defeated the nation's Islamic rebel groups, has died.

The state news agency says he died Monday after being rushed a hospital in the town of Biskra. He was 73. The cause of death was not given.

A former officer in the French army, Lamari joined Algeria's national liberation army during its fight for independence from France.

In January 1992, Lamari helped lead the coup that prevented an Islamist party from winning a national election in Algeria, then promoted a hardline approach to fighting militants.

As head of the military, he created a 15,000-man anti-terrorism force that specialized in hunting down Islamic rebels in the country's wild countryside.

He retired in 2004.

By Salon Staff

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